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Skills Audit

Conducting a skills audit is the first step to harnessing the very best from your team.

By Louise Beretta-Venter | 22 October 2021

As technology within our laboratory evolves, it’s very common for an employee’s role to change as the business evolves. Now more than ever, the excessive rate of change within our working environment has impacted how we allocate tasks between technology and employees. This can often lead to employees spending more time on tasks they are not equipped to do rather than performing their initially employed role.

Today, laboratory management has become an essential element of its performance. Employees are expected to possess various skills and capabilities, but not all organizations know how to manage the array of employee skills. Conducting a skills audit is the first step to harnessing the very best from your team.

A role audit helps you understand whether you utilize your employees’ skills effectively and whether you need to amend existing roles or create new ones. It also enables you to build a skills matrix to identify skill gaps and potential training opportunities. If you utilize your employees’ skills effectively, your business operations will be more successful. 

The Skills Auditing through Competency-Based Needs Analysis is a process designed for individuals and teams who must periodically assess the current skills within their business units against those needed by the organization and industry for current and future performance. This process has a primary objective to provide you with the underpinning knowledge of becoming self-aware, which will equip you to communicate effectively during individual and team interaction during the audit process, in both your personal and professional environment. 

This process will provide your managers/HR with a conceptual framework and practical tools to define competencies and skills in their departments, using this analysis to design skills (essential soft and hard skills) development plans at an individual, business unit, and ultimately organizational level.  It will also allow for effective performance discussions.

The word audit is derived from the Latin verb “auride,” which means “to listen.” Listening and watching are about gathering information. In the case of the HR Audit, this information is for the express purpose of evaluating an organization’s HR environment. The skills audit is therefore simply defined as:

“A key piece of information an organization needs to improve to know what skills and knowledge the organization requires and what skills and knowledge the organization currently has.”